Session Type(s): Panel, Streamed Session
Starts: Thursday, Jul. 13 2:30 PM (Central)
Ends: Thursday, Jul. 13 3:30 PM (Central)
Room: Continental B
We are sadly too aware of violent interactions with the police, especially in communities of color, yet rarely acknowledge the role the Pentagon Budget plays in domestic police violence. As law enforcement agencies ramp up purchases of military weapons and equipment and local police adopt aggressive military tactics, the lethality of confrontations with police has intensified. The bloated Pentagon Budget drives excessive militarism abroad and on the US border, which exacerbates racism in U.S. foreign policy driven by special interests seeking to profit from war. Our panel will convene Chicago activists and national budget and policy experts to draw a clear line from the Pentagon Budget to militarized policing at home and racism worldwide.
Mariam Malik leads the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center’s (CPC Center) foreign policy program. The CPC Center is 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works to create people-centered policies and build up the progressive movement. Mariam’s foreign policy work at the CPC Center includes working with movement partners, grassroots leaders, and researches on topics such as the bloated Pentagon Budget, U.S. arms sales, the war in Yemen, the Iran Nuclear Deal, sanctions, congressional war powers, nuclear policies and disarmament, and other topics. Prior to joining the CPC Center she worked in Congress at the Committee on House Administration. Prior to that she worked in the British House of Commons for a Member of Parliament on various issues such as women’s rights, Brexit, the war in Yemen, and funding for the NHS. She received her Bachelor’s of Art in Political Science from the University of Kentucky and her Master’s of Science in European Union Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Tobita Chow is founder and Co-Director of Justice Is Global, which organizes for a just and sustainable global economy and an end to right-wing nationalism. He is a leading progressive critic of the rise of great power conflict between the US and China and the threat this trend poses to progressive and democratic politics. His writing about progressive strategy, internationalism, and the US-China relationship has appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, Dissent, In These Times, and Convergence Magazine.
Keyanna Jones is a Political and Social Justice Activist and Community Organizer, who is a staunch advocate for quality, affordable childcare and equity in education. She currently works with Community Movement Builders to educate, engage and empower the Black Community in Atlanta, Georgia. She is an ordained minister and proprietor of E Equals MC Squared Educational Services, LLC, where she works as a Homeschool Curriculum Consultant, IEP Advocate and German Translator. Keyanna is the wife of Jerrod R. Moore and mother to their 5 unique and extraordinary children.
Senator Robert Peters was born in 1985 deaf and with a massive speech impediment. His biological mother was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and his adopted mother and father were a social worker and a civil rights lawyer. He saw first hand the impact and devastation of the racist war on drugs. As he grew up, he admired the work his father did as a civil rights and criminal defense attorney, challenging wrongdoing by the police. This combined with the effect of the criminalization of addiction, inspired his work on criminal justice reform rooted in the safety, freedom, and wellness of all people. A defining moment for Peters was the Great Recession, as he struggled to find work and lost his parents within a year and a half of each other. He found his power through political organizing in solidarity with a variety of organizations in Chicago fighting for justice.
As a state senator, Peters has championed the end of cash bail in Illinois after years of organizing around it before becoming a Senator. He just passed legislation that expanded worker protections for Black and Latino workers in temporary employment. He has championed investments in tourism, small business development, and education. This legislative session alone, Peters has passed 17 bills, as he continues to push Illinois forward as a leader in criminal justice reform and true public safety for all. He chairs the Labor Committee in the Senate and is Chair of the Senate Black Caucus. He is focused on environmental justice, racial justice, economic freedom, and public safety for all.
Josue Sican is the son of Guatemalan immigrants and an anti-militarist organizer. After growing up in North Carolina, Josue moved to Chicago and got into organizing. He spent the next few years fighting for cultural centers on campus, for cops off campus, and providing support to immigrant communities in Chicago. In a time when capitalist interests are harming a multitude of our communities individually and our planet as a whole, anti-militarist organizing stood out to Josue and Dissenters became a political home. He joined the emerging Boeing Arms Genocide Campaign, and helped the campaign block $2 million in taxpayer dollars from going to the war profiteer and ensured Boeing HQ would leave Chicago. Josue recently joined Dissenters as a Field Organizer and couldn’t be more excited to fuel the fire of anti-militarism across Turtle Island and continue applying pressure to all aspects of the war industry. Outside of organizing you can typically find Josue with a camera, a bluetooth speaker, or both, eager to tell you about his newest music or gaming obsession. He firmly believes in laughing as much as possible and finding joy in every moment.